WHAT IS A CRONING CEREMONY?
The Maiden, Mother and Crone are symbolised by the waxing, full and waning moons.
The onset of your first menstruation and the arrival of your first baby are definite events which happen on a date which can be circled on a calendar and celebrated as they happen. The menopause, however, creeps stealthily upon you by degrees, without any fanfare to alert you to the fact that this is going to be your last period – ever. Indeed, it is only retrospectively that you realise it was the last one. This can leave many women feeling at least wistful, if not even regretful as menstruation has been a constant companion for the majority of their lives. The last menstruation also betokens farewell to the Motherhood stage of life. It is the doorway through which you must step into the new phase of your life – your Crone era.
Unlike marriage, which is another rite of passage, there is no service, ceremony or ritual to mark the change of status. With marriage, Miss Smith goes through a ritual in the presence of the registrar (and possibly clergy as well) and at the end is confirmed in her new status as Mrs Jones, a fact which is celebrated by family and friends and acknowledged on all official documents thereafter. The new Crone, however, has no such recognition.
Some women don’t see that they have moved forward into a new era and some don’t want to see, trying desperately to cling onto their more youthful perception of themselves when they were only forty-something. Inevitably the body starts to show signs of Cronedom, even if the mind is trying to kid you that you’re still living in your previous decade. The emphasis in the media on the importance of looking youthful and hiding the signs of aging does not make it easy for a woman to let go of the past and move towards the future especially as better nutrition, exercise and health care means that women today are fitter and more active when they enter the menopause and beyond, than their predecessors. Eventually, though, the Wise Woman will accept that she is in the Crone phase even if her spirit still dances with the Maiden.
Whether you embraced the Crone stage from the moment you had your first hot flush (aka hot flash or power surge) or whether you reluctantly dragged your feet into Cronedom, there is often a feeling of regret that there was never any definite moment when you could mark the occasion. Many women feel that they have somehow been cheated out of the acknowledgement that they have moved forward and now have new status. In the past - and indeed in some cultures still today – the onset of menstruation is recognised by a special ceremony for the young girl in which she is admitted to the circle of women. At the other end of the spectrum, it was believed that when a woman stopped menstruating, she kept her wise blood inside her and increased her wisdom. Elderwomen were, therefore, revered and honoured. The Croning Ceremony aims to provide a ritualised celebration and acknowledgement of a woman’s move forward into her Cronehood and wisdom. It doesn’t matter whether you have only just started the menopause or whether it happened several years ago: what matters is that you want to mark this rite of passage.
Many women prefer to have the ceremony with their close friends in their own home where they can feel comfortable. However, other venues or locations can be considered, bearing in mind common sense and safety precautions for all concerned. The actual content of the ceremony will be discussed with the new Crone before I write it so that it reflects her spiritual values and her view of life. For Crones who would rather have a lifelong friend presiding over their rite of passage, I can write that into the ceremony.
Consultation and Creation of your Croning Ceremony £60
NB This is not my PayPal address.